Do you know how to care for your eyes? I didn’t have any real clue before I read this article by guest blogger, Daphne Lefran. It’s worth the read!
In a 2012 survey from the American Optometric Association, more than half of the respondents reported that they valued their eyesight more than their memory or ability to walk. However, practicing basic eye care is commonly overlooked.
Many people undergo surgery and are prescribed glasses or contacts but forget that there are a number of natural ways to improve your eyesight. These 5 simple tips will ensure you protect your eye health and sharpen your vision, the natural way.
Practice eye exercises.
Although eye exercises can’t treat eye conditions, they can help reduce the strain on your eye muscles and relax them. Performing these 3 exercises once a day will help strengthen your eyes so that they function at their best.
- First, warm your hands up by quickly rubbing your palms together. Gently place them on your eyes for 5-10 seconds. Repeat this at least three times.
- Gently massage your temples in a small circular motion using your fingers. Do this for approximately 20 seconds in each direction. Repeat this above your eyebrows and below your eyes next to the bridge of your nose.
- Roll your eyes by looking up and circling clockwise 10 times and counterclockwise 10 times.
Eat the proper eye nutrients.
There are a number of nutrients that support eye health. Omega-3 fatty acids contain antioxidants that are great for decreasing the risk of eye disease, such as AMD. Fish oils also support a healthy production of tear coating and structural formation of cell membranes to boost eye health. Consuming at least 5-6 ounce servings of fatty fish per week is enough to reap these benefits.
When it comes to vegetables and greens, carrots are most commonly known for providing essential vitamin A for vision support. However, there are other essential eye nutrients such as lutein and zeaxanthin that can help protect your eyes from sun damage. These can be found in dark leafy greens, broccoli, peas, zucchini, egg yolks, pumpkin and brussels sprouts.
A colorful and organic diet rich in minerals and antioxidants can fight free radicals that compromise vision. A study in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition found that replacing meat with more greens and vegetables lowered the risk of cataracts by 30%.
Keep digital screens at a distance.
In this digital age, laptop and desktop monitors aren’t the only screens to worry about. With the development of smartphones and tablets, we encounter digital screens throughout most of our day. The screen contrast and glare can lead to symptoms of eyestrain as well as computer vision syndrome after prolonged use. These symptoms can include anything from headaches, blurred vision, neck/back pain, dry eyes, fatigue and trouble focusing.
Handheld devices also tend to be held at a really close distance when being read, causing your eyes to work harder. A rule of thumb is to maintain your computer monitor at arm’s length and your handheld device 16 inches from your eyes. Also, read in soft lighting to reduce any glares on the screen.
Give yourself some shut-eye.
Sleep gives your eyes the opportunity to rest and recover. An insufficient amount of sleep can wear out your vision. It can also bring about an eye condition called myokymia, which causes your eye muscles to contract involuntarily. Give your eyes enough R&R and aim for approximately 7-8 hours of sleep per night.
If you don’t get enough sleep one night or your eyes feel overly tired, opt for a mini-nap during the day. Take a quick break to relax by putting your head back and closing your eyes for 3 minutes.
People normally blink between 5-30 times per minute. If your work involves intensely focusing on a computer screen, you are most likely blinking less than the normal rate. Blinking allows for the upper eyelid to distribute moisture from the tear ducts to the cornea and conjunctiva membranes. It also can help keep dust off the surface of the eye. Avoid dry eyes with voluntary blinking exercises.
Your eyes are your windows to the world. By implementing these 5 simple steps into your everyday routine you can help strengthen and preserve your vision well into the future.
About the Author
Daphne Lefran has been writing about health-related topics for many years, and currently writes on behalf of the laser eye surgeons at Eyecare 20/20 in New Jersey. Follow her on Twitter at @daphnelefran.
Do you know any vision care that Daphne didn’t mention here?